The history of third party candidates in the US is dismal.
Teddy Roosevelt’s ego and petulance gave us Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Was that a good thing? It was a DISASTER — income tax, federal reserve, World War 1, Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations, etc.
Similarly, Ross Perot gave us two terms of Bill Clinton. Gee, thanks a lot… all he did was ignite the housing bubble that burst in 2006-2008.
These were the result of taking votes away from the better man and letting the WORST man win. At least George Wallace in 1968 and John Anderson in 1980 were inconsequential.
If you really want a protest vote, then first get the laws changed so that NONE OF THE ABOVE means exactly that. Hold another election with a completely new set of candidates. Otherwise the “protest” value of the vote is dismissed as the temporary insanity of kooks. Harry Reid is not deterred by None Of The Above being his candidate against Governor Sandoval. The candidates losing to None Of The Above will not be shamed into withdrawing, and the media won’t force them.
Remember, no matter how many candidates run for one particular office, the voters ALWAYS have only ONE choice: to vote FOR the LEAST bad one. Why? because you NEVER agree 100% with anyone, certainly not a candidate for office. On occasion, as with Reagan vs. Carter, we have a very clear choice, but there are things that even Reagan did that proved to be very bad — the amnesty in 1986 that pardoned two million illegals; now we can’t do anything about a deliberate, calculated invasion ten times as much.
For a third party candidate to win, he’ll need to have name recognition, stature and a history of achievement far superior to the other two party’s candidates. And as the election of 1912 showed, even THAT won’t work
Americans had never had an appetite for third parties. Our system was not set up to accommodate third parties. It’s the Europeans who run their parliamentary system with coalitions formed in smoke filled rooms. We use our smoke filled rooms to “go along to get along.” And when we do have third parties, all they do is divide the majority vote, make sure a loser wins, and that the winner got a minority of the votes. We do not have the requirement that a majority shall form a government. Even when None Of The Above gets the most votes, all that means is that the loser with the next highest number of votes wins, no matter how few votes he got.
My suggestion is for the center-right and “far” right parties to infiltrate the GOP and take it over from the RINOs. Unite behind the TEA Party to do it; they don’t actually have a leadership structure and don’t you all agree on 99% of everything you stand for? As CCRCC platform committee chairman I looked at all the platforms of all these different parties — YOU DO. Voters place a great value on “working within the system.” Well… Take over the system and make it yours. Quit dividing the vote for the best possible candidate.
That’s exactly what the socialists did to the Democrats, beginning in the 1920s or even before, and by the 1980s they purged all the conservative Democrats from the Party.